20040426 Huntsman introduces Plan

At Larry Miller center. I was late to the meeting and missed some of the introductions.
Mr. Chafetz chided me for taking notes. Mr. Demma introduced me to Jon after the meeting.

Larry Miller

I got to know Gary Herbert while he was a commissioner. When I heard about the match up, I thought that it was perfect. Gary has the grassroots county experience that is critical. Jon has the national and international experience that makes him a strong candidate. They have energy and character. Utah really needs these men to lead us the next 4, 8, or 12 years.
I hope that I will not offend them. We have some other very good candidates, but for me the clear cut choice on economic issues and social answers, they are the right people at the right time.
Thanks for taking time out of your day to come here and listen and be involved in this process. It does my heart good. I wish them well.
Jon and Gary

Gary Herbert)
Thanks for Larry who represents good will and is an ambassador of what is good in Utah. I am honored to be here and on the ticket. Things need to be addressed now. We complement each other well. I have local government and small business experience with 29 employees, Huntsman I guess has a few more. We understand budgets, payroll, government regulations that stifle growth. We share that. I know the grass roots with the people. The local government reflects the issues locally. The original founders as federalists believed in the bottom up vs. top down. We need to change the way we are doing things.
We share the understanding that we have significant challenges in education and the expenses there as well as transportation. We can not have success and quality of life with out the issues being resolved here and that also includes water. It is good to be with somebody who has vision.
Envision Utah was really struggling until Jon came on as a chairman. The communities were concerned Utah state top-down approach. Jon drove for local representation on the Envision Utah committee, which changed the whole thinking. It has led to some success. Now the Quality of Growth Commission of Utah is looking at similar answers. We have set aside areas for growth in the future.
There is no silver bullet. Our hope is to grow the pie. We can not grow at the record amounts as in the past. We need new revenues to address these challenges. All of us as candidates have talked about it. There is only one candidate who has a plan that you can feel and touch, implement on or criticize. You can see this and on the first day we can hit the ground running.
I am honored to be here with my good friend that I have known over a number of years. In UT County some said that they could feel the electricity when we walked in. Thank you very much

Jon Huntsman)
Thank you, Gary. I am going to take a few moments overview. I will not belabor the 10 point plan. We have some excellent presenters who will share their input.
When I got in to the race, our first meeting was in West Valley city. I said the same thing then that I am saying now and am staying on message. On our current economic trajectory we can not meet the dream os the next generation. The best way to address these things is to have an economy that works. We have a lot of bills to pay. A lot of young people are coming up and we have a lot of things to do to get ready.
The governor does not create jobs on their own, but they can do something to improve the competitive environment while the companies determine who will win and lose. As we have gone throughout the state campaigning, we have had thousands of conversations about our issues.
Companies are concerned about our competitive environment and know that youth are leaving from the state because they are looking for greener pastures elsewhere.
[question interruption by campaigner]
I see that we must keep pace with the others in the world and we cannot afford to fall behind. We need to do this so that we can remain competitive. Too many of our brightest are leaving. We need to have economic choices so that we can live as families together. If you want to stay with your families, then you need opportunity.

Our 3 pillars of statehood need to be:
Industry – This was what the state was founded on and the principle is true. We have industrious people, but the environment is taking the industry out of them.
Education – We have the greatest teachers. It is easy to say that we will tweak more funding from tax payers. That won’t work. We need an expanding economy.
Quality of life is what we were also founded on. Economic competitveness is directly linked to this. I’d like to share with you a couple of points about our plan.

We are the 7th highest taxed population, but we fall well below the national average on wages and income. Too many of us are drowning and in survival mode. We are 17% below national average on wages, but on par with the national average for Cost of Living. It is not due to our spirit. We have the same entrepreneurial spirit as the rest of the World. I am certain of this because we have so many small companies. But what are the tools to succeed for them? What are the barriers that need to be addressed?
Slide 1 (new students coming in to public school) and (senior citizens) The tax squeeze on the average Utahn is dramatic. How are we going to cover the cost of the seniors and the students?
Slide 2 (job growth) Our plane is in a death spiral. Growing population is good. Our consumer base will grow, but if you can not keep job growth up with population growth you have a real problem. We have not experienced 2 consecutive year s of loss since WWII.
Slide 3 (recession, but companies moved out)
I call these Fortune 1000 companies and smaller (novell ATK-Thiokol, American stores, IOMega, Boeing, Knaack). We are losing some of our best companies. Some of these were started here in Utah. The incentive seems to encourage native companies and others to leave the state.
Slide 4 (cycle image)
Higher taxes, companies leave state, lower revenue, less $ for education, higher taxes …
Therefore, I suggest that we need to take these 10 Steps of our Plan to help us to revitalize our economy.
Slide 5[#1] (revamp tax structure)
We just need to improve the competitive nature of the environment. Our tax code is akin to a 1954 Chevrolet which should be thrown in the garbage can. We need to get this right. We need to revamp the taxes and focus on our competitive dynamics over the long term. We will always get better growth with lower tax burden. We need to rebalance the burden.
Slide 6[#2] (improve the competitive environment for SMB[small to medium sized business])
If we don’t do this we will be letting go of our seed corn. Many of you here are from small business. If they fail, we all fail. If they succeed then we all succeed. We need to look more creatively at taking the burden off the small businesses. I have talked to small businesses all over the state. We need a regulatory reform commission. I used to be on the US-Japan regulatory reform commission. We discussed over a number of years many things that we were able to resolve. We can do the same thing here in Utah. We will sit down with the ?National Assoc. of Businesses? and get it right.
Slide 7[#3] (recruit out of state)
We need to be realistic about needing to bring in larger corporations. We have to realize that the 5th largest state/economy in the world is California. And a number of companies now want to move from CA because they have a lot of new regulations. Companies want new environments in which they can produce the best financial outcome and we need to be there to give them an opportunity to come here.
[#4] (more capital)
We need more life blood in order to keep companies here in state. Frasier Bullock says that we have around $500 million here in all of Utah, and there is one STREET in Palo Alto, CA with $15 billion in management. My team will be a lot more aggressive in attracting this capital. There is also house bill 240 which is the Fund of Funds. This is something instate that is exciting to help us reinvest in ourselves. We also need to fuel aerospace and other research at our universities.
[#5] (target specific industries and promote growth)
We need to look at who we really are down deep as a state. What do we produce that is unique to offer the rest of the world? We have a very technologically literate state. We are geographically the crossroads of the west. Our productivity levels are unparalleled. And our Quality Of Life is second to none. The industries that we target should be industries that can influence the future. For instance:
Heath sciences
Aerospace (Logan-USU) – they should be Space City, USA in 20 years
Information Technology and
Homeland security and communications security. There will be a very large amount of money spent on this from the federal government and we should be poised to take advantage of it.
[#6] (enhance our international image)
We have some good ideas. We are not just about skiing but we should be able to have conventions. We are the crossroads of the west. We need to identify the opportunities. We need to recruit and bring them in
[#7] (capture global opportunities)
I would not say open up offices all over the world. We need an export base and then they will come to us. We need to capture some of the opportunities that are available now. I know what the State Department and Congress is doing. We need to do a whole lot more to capture these opportunities. I will leverage my relationships because you can get anywhere in the world with the governor.
We also have a number of people in this state and around the world that have ties to UT. They live around the world and run companies or funds. Many of these people want UT to succeed and the right governor could bring these people together and to bear on our issues. This is something that we have not effectively tapped yet.
[#8] Tourism is a vital element in these days. Disposable incomes are on the rise. We have some beautiful things to see. People will want to get out and see the outdoors. We need to fight for the dollars. Why do we let them go to CO and NV? I think we can accommodate 5 million more tourists which will bring in a large amount of revenue.
[#9](grow rural Utah)
We have discovered during our travels around the state of Utah that we don’t all live on the Wasatch front and there are lots of other cities that want to come along with the economic growth. Our plan is for everyone in this great state to have increased opportunities. They need primarily access to money. This is even more important in places like Panguitch that has dropped in size due to lack of capital. Also with the land issues, RS2477 is important. This issue relates to DC vs. state roads. This is so important along with PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) which is the mini compensation that we receive as a token gesture for DC control of our lands. We have lost access to our coal, gas and timber. We need to fight for our lands against the Department of the Interior and BLM. We need to encourage more students to attend rural campuses. They have much to offer there. UVSC has grown to 24000 students. Why can’t we get our students to attend rural campuses? With an infusion of new talent and economic interest, then we can help our whole State move forward. I want to work with Mike Benson (President of Snow College). We should be making more use of the talents and brains outside of the Wasatch front.
[#10] (government efficiency)
We need to make sure we are expanding our economic base to cover the bills. I am not sure that we can afford the government that we have today. I will call for a flexible freeze over the next 2 years so that we can put a Period on the growth. And in the next 2-4 years we will hopefully be at a break even point. We need to create growth boundaries so that we can restrict the growth of our government. CO has an equation like: gross state output + population growth = the allowable government growth that you can experience. As an interesting option to think about, I don’t know that our legislature has to meet every year. Sure, they might need a budget session every year for 15 days, but how about every other year for passing other legislation? Also, why don’t we have a legislature meet outside of Salt Lake for a session? Somewhere like down in Washington County. Perhaps we can experiment and be creative now.
We need to sunset a lot of provisions and bills/legislation. We need to have a shelf life on our bills so that we after a period of time we have to stand up and justify the bills. If we can’t justify them, then they should have to die.

So, what are our Next Steps?
Create collations of leaders and lawmakers. This will be comprised of industrys and citizens. Next we will need to implement the plan. I don’t want anyone to ask, “What are you doing?” Everyone can look at exactly what we will do if we are elected. We want them to know. We are not just putting this forward as reading material, we also want your input.
And finally, while doing this we will need to stay within our overall budgets.

Thanks to the participants, for those who have helped us over the past 8 months. We brought together the best minds across the state and asked what we can do about our economic issues. We said, “Don’t just give us a pie in the sky.” They have spent week after week, month after month to work on this plan. They believe in this. I believe in this.
Now the, who are they, [see plan listing]
Thanks to all of them who are here and for all of their contributions. It is now time to hear from 3 presenters to tell you why this is relevant in their lives.
As we have talked about this plan with other Economic Development organizations in other states they have said, “This is a great piece of information and we haven’t seen anything like it from a State, let alone from a candidate.”
Chris Roybal (Pres./CEO of Economic Dev. Of Utah)
David Bradford (seasoned capitalist Novell)
Amy Lewis (IPOP and entrepreneur)
Chris Roybal)
If you were not convinced already, then I hope that you are now about this candidate. I speak for the 20 committee members that have worked so long on this. We are very proud of what has come together. I have worked with the past 3 governors and have not seen something so comprehensive and complete. I see Jack Powers here and know that McDonnell Douglas came here with incentives that we helped to create. It was good, but we can do better.
I have noted in the campaign and heard that some suggest that the governor should not be directly involved in helping build companies. This is a dual strategy in helping. The 2 are not exclusive. We have also looked at targeted industries and we believe they will bring higher paying jobs here. We will see that all the industries can be recruited and the entrepreneurs can grow in these industries.
Jon and Gary are the guys to execute on this plan. All the states are recruiting, but when thinking about all the candidates, I would be very proud for them to walk in to any board room to represent Utah. We need that kind of leadership.

David Bradford)
Thanks Jon. And Gary, it is good to see you are part of this team. I have been glad to sever with Chris, Jack and Amy who have helped us get here. A while ago I read in the Daily Herald that Novell had moved its HQ to Boston. I have been a Senior VP at Novell and it made me sad to know that is was leaving. I knew that at one time, Novell had had a market valuation above the combination beyond of all the airlines combined. So it was painful.
It motivated me to get involved in this race. It is said, “Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote.” I began to review the field of candidates. I have worked with Nolan Karras as Chair of Board of Regents. He is a fine, skilled, and excellent individual. Olene and I have worked together on a number of things. Gary and I have worked together with Novell issues. One overriding question I asked of all these candidates was,
“Which candidate is most capable of generating the best and largest job growth for Utah?”
Without money in the coffers we can’t build the legacy for the future. As I looked at his qualifications like US trade representative; who could do better than someone who had negotiated with Japan and the US; also as an ambassador in Singapore. One of the misconceptions is that he has a sliver spoon story. Some say, they are the richest family, but Jon met his wife Mary Kay at the Marie Calendars and we just don’t have the right story. He has built himself to this position. There has never been someone better prepared for this position. He spent an evening in our home a couple of months ago and pitched his campaign.
– He stayed until late in to the evening. Their family was tired and wanted to go, but he stayed until everyone got an answer to their questions. He always asked, “How can I earn you vote?”
– I got an email asking about whether a friend could bring someone from China to visit with Jon. During the evening as Jon greeted them in their own language, I could not tell who was native, he was so fluent. As they left, the guests were effusive in their complements. They want to come here because he was there.
– He is committed to the same things that I am. He wants to create a great legacy for his children and future generations. He wants to bring a growing economy to the state of Utah.
This plan will give the other candidates fodder to fight against all day long. But as Larry Miller mentioned, there is a difference between leadership and management. Leadership takes some guts. He has put the plan out there. I have great trust in them. Thank you.

Amy Lewis) I’ll just say I did not bring the pom-poms today to do a cheer. I began a business in 1999 with 23,000.00. I then went to get VC and the deal breaker requirement from them was that I move out of UT. They said that there was no quality legal representation, no sound financial representation and executive leadership people. I convinced them otherwise and was able to stay here. I found that it a perception problem for those who are outside of the state. We need a governor who can go out and sell us better. I have been guilty of misperceptions as well. When I first went to meet Jon, I went in thinking that he was a guy that was a rich man who just would never get it. I was blown away by his sincerity, humility and listening skills. In leadership in businesses, we need a CEO that is willing to go in with a good understanding of business and government. John is that CEO. He hears what people have to say. He really does care and wants to hear what people have to say.
Today I travel around the country and talk about Entrepreneurship. I work with all the schools. UT has the most talented entrepreneurs and most of them think that they have to leave the state to make it big. If the brain drain continues it will hurt UT. The entrepreneurs will be able to keep the business here if they are helped by Jon.
I have a lot of respect for the other candidates. This plan is different. This says a lot about what he is willing to do. He will be compared against this.
Without a plan there is not money to pay for it. Where will they get the money? You just can’t do it for health, transportation and education. We need to increase the revenues. We need to have more than we are spending. Inefficiencies need to be cleaned up as well. UT will be a better place for my business and my children. I want my children be able to stay here.

JH) I just want to wrap up on trying to sort through this roadmap for everyone. We are taking a stand and if we don’t do it after 4 years you can fire us. We think that we are at the point that we must get very serious. We have waited to release this plan at the end of this campaign so that the other camps couldn’t rip the plan off. 🙂 We are in deep appreciation for all those who have contributed so much. We are going to win this race. We have a week and a half to go. We are going to pour it on. We would love your help on this plan.
Thanks for joining us this morning.


About mohpolitics

Comments are closed.